Indonesia’s leading authority on Islamic affairs has given the conditional go-ahead for the consumption of imported genetically modified (GM) foods.

The Indonesian Ulemas Council, authorised to release religious rulings or labels of halal on processed food products, has decided against issuing a fatwa – a notice of legal advice – against GMOs.

The move leaves the 88% of Indonesia’s 215 million population who are Muslim free to eat GM soya or corn without going against their religion.

The council’s head of medicine and food supervision said council members had decided not to proscribe consumption of GM crops as long as they came from plantations.